Pinnacle Mountain Landscape Photo | Brittney Humphrey's Story
Earlier this year, Tim and I (Tim works with me at Brad Fugere Media LLC) were filming a video for Brittney Humphrey. Brittney had this great story to tell about overcoming her past and using it to make the most of her present, so we decided one of the best ways to showcase her overcoming her past was to film her climbing a mountain (the mountain was a metaphor for her struggle in life). We opted for Pinnacle Mountain here in Little Rock because we had all climbed it several times and it was close by. For the shoot, I decided to rent a camera I had been dying to try out for a while, the low-light-overcoming-monster-in-a-child's-body Sony A7s.
We start up the mountain around 4:00, shooting different scenes of Brittney overcoming the mountain along the way. When we got to the top of the mountain, the sun was just starting to set. I had Brittney sit on a rock and look out at the view while I filmed a nice wide angle shot on the A7s. Well, I focused the lens onto its hyperfocal distance and my stomach sank. I noticed a giant, ugly piece of dust on the sensor, which rendered my image useless. As you might know, dust is fairly hard to see on a camera's sensor when you are using your camera normally, but when you focus the lens on its hyperfocal distance and start filming the sky, it becomes apparent if there is any dust on the sensor (this is actually a good way to check for dust on the sensor). My stomach had dropped because I realized that the dust must have gotten on the sensor when we were changing lenses while coming up the mountain... but I wouldn't know when it got on the sensor until I got home and could check on the computer. For all I knew, all of my footage so far might have been ruined.
If there's anything not related to filmmaking that I've learned over the last few years of filming weddings, it's how to stay calm and react quickly when disaster strikes – which it inevitably will. So, I asked Tim to help me switch out the A7s with our trusty Canon 6D and I grabbed the shot with it instead. Since I was so used to filming with the 6D, I ended up getting an excellent, dust-free shot of Brittney watching the sunset and a photo to go along with it. The photo, posted below, is one of my favorite sunset photos I've taken to date. But every time I see it, I think of how we climbed that mountain with all of our gear and the rented camera, and we ended up falling back on our "spare" camera to get an amazing shot. (most of the footage was usable even though the dust particle was present throughout the shoot)
Below is another shot from the same clip.